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Would Geographical Factors Affect Your Personality? Here’s The Answer!

Would Geographical Factors Affect Your Personality? Here’s The Answer!

Are you just dreaming about a getaway by the beach? Or perhaps, you can envision yourself with a glass of wine at a cabin in the woods? Your preference of landscape; beach or woody mountains, may tell you more about your personality than you realize.

According to a new study by the psychologists at the University of Virginia, introverts and extroverts seek out different landscapes for their vacations, and they may even prefer different environmental settings when they choose a place to call home.

In a series of studies, University of Virginia psychologist Shigehiro Oishi and colleagues Thomas Talhelm and Minha Lee found that extroverts prefer the beach to the mountains, while introverts favored the mountains over the beach.

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Oishi designed the study in accordance with the hypothesis that people actively select certain surroundings to meet their personal values and desires. This is called the theory of “person-environment fit.” The study involved three experiments; we’ll take a look at each of these experiments in turn.

Extroverts And Introverts

Different Outlooks

It is well known by psychologists that extroverts enjoy arousing situations while introverts are drawn towards quieter and calmer environments. Research has discovered that extroverts have a more pronounced need for “affiliation”. Affiliation is being with, and talking to other people. Extroverts also enjoy attention from others and entertaining them; this is called  “exhibition”. Introverts don’t require these things to feel fulfilled.

The Hypothesis

Mountains Are Quiet, Beaches Are Noisier

“We argue that beaches are typically noisier, with more people to watch, talk to, and hang out with than the mountains,” write the researchers. “In contrast, mountains offer many secluded places, which facilitate isolation.”

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Oishi thus hypothesized that extroverts should feel more comfortable and happier in an open area while introverts are likely to flourish in more secluded places.

The Study

The First Experiment

Oishi and his colleagues requested that 921 undergraduates rate their personality using a standard questionnaire. The students were then met with the question: Do you prefer the ocean or mountains?

The researchers found that those individuals who had introverted personality types favored the mountains, while the extroverts preferred the beach.

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The findings were further established through the use of a visual test. Oishi and his colleagues showed a smaller group of students six pairs of pictures of the ocean and the beach. The students were asked which place they would like to visit. Again it was found that the extrovert individuals displayed a strong preference for the ocean.

The Findings Of The Study Explained

It appears that the wooded or mountainous environments offer lesser opportunities for affiliation and exhibition, while the wide-open spaces of places like the beach give extroverts the opportunity to partake in affiliation and exhibition. The mountains are perfect for solitude and introspection, whereas the beach can be noisy and populated; making it great for partying and conversing.

The Second Experiment

In another experiment, the researchers analyzed a database with personality surveys of 613,000 people from the United States. The researchers did so to find out whether the geography of the state had any relationship with people’s tendency towards introversion or extroversion. They discovered that the people residing in flat states were more extroverted than the residents of mountainous areas in the United States.

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It was still unclear, however, as to whether living in the mountains made people more introverted, or if introverted people chose to make their home in the mountains. To find out the answer the researchers performed one more experiment.

The Third Experiment

The researchers sent groups of students to either flat open areas or secluded wooded areas. The areas were all on the UVA campus. They then analyzed the participants’ extroversion and happiness levels.

The researchers found that introverts were more stressed in open spaces and more comfortable in the midst of trees.

Summation

Next time you are planning a getaway you may want to consider your personality type; introvert or extrovert, this way you can make sure that the landscape you choose to holiday in fits your needs and gives you maximum comfort.

Featured photo credit: Torreon via torreon.com

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Rebecca Beris

Rebecca is a wellness and lifestyle writer at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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